Theatre News

Vicky Featherstone to direct Dr Strangelove inspired show for MIF

The first four commissions for next year’s festival have been announced

Vicky Featherstone
Vicky Featherstone
© Rosie Hallam

The Royal Court's Vicky Featherstone is to direct a show inspired by Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove for the 2017 Manchester International Festival.

She will direct artist Yael Bartana's new work, What if Women Ruled the World? in which a group of ten women and one man, made up of professional actors alongside experts, scientists and politicians, will attempt to tackle modern crises including climate change and mass migration.

Manchester International Festival's artistic director, John McGrath announced that the piece would be part of next year's programme. The festival runs from 29 June to 16 July 2017, and brings together artists from various mediums including visual art, dance, theatre and music.

The festival's opening event, What Is the City but the People?, will see Manchester residents create a self-portrait of the city. With musical accompaniment, participants will parade on a runway in Piccadilly Gardens. The aim is to capture Manchester through fashion, attitudes and individuality.

Choreographer Boris Charmatz will take over a found space in the city centre for 10,000 Gestures, which claims the 25-strong ensemble will not repeat a single movement.

Playwright Simon Stephens has teamed up with Frantic Assembly's Scott Graham and Underworld’s Karl Hyde to create Fatherland. The new piece, which will run at Manchester's Royal Exchange, aims to look at the complexities and contradictions of contemporary fatherhood.

Talking about the first commissions, McGrath said: "As a Festival of new work, MIF is uniquely able to respond to our changing world. The artists in our 2017 programme have a lot to say about the times we live in – and they’re responding in unexpected ways…

"As the incoming Artistic Director, I’m thrilled to be part of MIF’s extraordinary creative ambition, and I look forward to sharing more of our plans in the months ahead."

The full programme of events is due to be announced at the festival's launch on 9 March 2017.